VII. Our Earthuman Ascent: A Major Evolutionary Transition in Individuality
3. A Complementary Brain and Thought Process
De Haan, Edward, et al. Where are We Now with ‘What” and ‘How’? Cortex. 98/1, 2018. As the quote cites, University of Amsterdam, Nottingham, and Ludwig-Maximilians University neuropsychologists introduce a 25 year retrospect on this now popular dual pathway model of active dorsal spatial perception and ventral object detail notice. Scan this section, Randall O’Reilly, Laura Otis, Stephen Grossberg, for more info. The result is another window upon the brain’s resort to archetypal particle/position modes, along with fast and slow, left/right hemisphere, core/periphery views. As evidence builds, a portal opens on a cosmic genesis everywhere graced, enlivened, and informed by these gender complements. Among the 22 entries are Dynamic Representations of Visual Space for Perception and Action by Pieter Medendorp, et al, The Dorsal Visual Stream Revisited by Claudio Galletti and Partizia Fattori, and especially Where, When, and How: Towards a Unified View of the Dorsal Pathway in Vision and Audition by Josef Rauschecker.
In 1992/1995 David Milner and Mel Goodale proposed a two visual system (TVS) model that argued for the anatomical separation and functional independence of two visual processing streams: a dorsal visual processing stream associated with vision-for-action and a ventral visual processing stream associated with object perception/recognition. This TVS model has been, by any criteria, tremendously successful, and has inspired a considerable amount of new research, particularly with respect to the visual mechanisms and processes involved in the control of action. However, the model was very much a product of its time and pre-dated many of the techniques and methods that are now central to cognitive neuroscience (e.g., functional brain imaging). For this reason, and after 25 years, it seemed entirely sensible and appropriate to re-examine and re-evaluate the core tenets of the TVS model. (First Page)
Deco, Gustavo, et al. Rethinking Segregation and Integration: Contributions of Whole-Brain Modelling. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 16/7, 2015. Neuroscientists Deco, University of Pompeu Fabra, with Giulio Tononi and Melanie Boly, University of Wisconsin, and Morten Kringelbach, Aarhus University further evince how brains employ an active interplay of these separate and together modes, aka complexity and manageability. This computational complementarity is dubbed a multistability or metastability feature (Kelso). Once again, a dynamic poise of detail and image works best.
Neuroscientists Deco, University of Pompeu Fabra, with Giulio Tononi and Melanie Boly, University of Wisconsin, and Morten Kringelbach, Aarhus University further evince how brains employ an active interplay of these separate and together modes, aka complexity and manageability. This computational complementarity is dubbed a multistability or metastability feature (Kelso). Once again, a dynamic poise of detail and image works best.
Dehaene-Lambertz, Ghislaine. The Human Infant Brain: A Neural Architecture Able to Learn Language. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 24/1, 2017. The University of Paris-Saclay researcher, see bio below, describes her pioneering studies of how babies are readily able to understand verbal communication from their earliest moments. Our interest is another notice of the complementary roles of asymmetric word and image, fast and slow, hemisphere propensities. As we often emphasize, these gender genetic archetypes are present from the get go. As children of the genesis universe, we peoples appear to be more of a microcosmos, will all that implies, than ever before realized.
To understand the type of neural computations that may explain how human infants acquire their native language in only a few months, the study of their neural architecture is necessary. The development of brain imaging techniques has opened the possibilities of studying human infants without discomfort, and although these studies are still sparse, several characteristics are noticeable in the human infant’s brain: first, parallel and hierarchical processing pathways are observed before intense exposure to speech with an efficient temporal coding in the left hemisphere and, second, frontal regions are involved from the start in infants’ cognition. These observations are certainly not sufficient to explain language acquisition but illustrate a new approach that relies on a better description of infants’ brain activity during linguistic tasks, which is compared to results in animals and human adults to clarify the neural bases of language in humans. (Abstract)
Devinsky, Orrin. Right Cerebral Hemisphere Dominance for a Sense of Corporeal and Emotional Self. Epilepsy and Behavior. 1/1, 2000. An NYU Medical Center neurologist claims that aware self-identity in societies is rooted in holistic right brain faculties. (Compare with van Lancker herein) One might again add that our half brain inability to connect dots, an obsession with win/lose score settling, is unable to form any sense of collective selfhood, both ethnic and earthling, to overcome the archaic rage that threatens to overwhelm us.
Doron, Karl, et al. Dynamic Network Structure of Interhemispheric Coordination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109/18661, 2012. In a paper posted as a 50 year retrospect upon brain hemisphere research and the work of Michael Gazzaniga, Doron, with Danielle Bassett and Gazzaniga, (search DB & MG for more) University of California, Santa Barbara neuroscientists combine novel neuroimaging capabilities with complex system theories to advance a new phase of robust verification. In addition to studying asymmetric attributes, an inclusion of the interconnecting corpus callosum can help reveal how in a whole brain the complementary halves sequentially interact. In regard, the integral right provides an initial context for subsequent left lexical activities. Here again in technical neuroscience, akin to every other area (search Jaeger, e.g.) a revolutionary theory accrues by admitting these integrative nonlinear dynamics, which ever imply an independent, universal source. One then wonders, to extrapolate, if east and west, south and north, global hemispheres, which likewise match the brain’s anatomy, with an in-between area that matches the arc of Islam, might learn to think together in palliative harmony and balance.
Fifty years ago Gazzaniga and coworkers published a seminal article that discussed the separate roles of the cerebral hemispheres in humans. Today, the study of interhemispheric communication is facilitated by a battery of novel data analysis techniques drawn from across disciplinary boundaries, including dynamic systems theory and network theory. These techniques enable the characterization of dynamic changes in the brain’s functional connectivity, thereby providing an unprecedented means of decoding interhemispheric communication. We find that interhemispheric coordination is greater when lexical information is introduced to the right hemisphere and must subsequently be transferred to the left hemisphere for language processing than when it is directly introduced to the language-dominant (left) hemisphere. Further, we find that putative functional modules defined by coherent interhemispheric coordination come online in a transient manner, highlighting the underlying dynamic nature of brain communication. Our work illustrates that recently developed dynamic, network-based analysis techniques can provide novel and previously unapproachable insights into the role of interhemispheric coordination in cognition. (Abstract)
Duckitt, John and Chris Sibley. A Dual-Process Motivational Model of Ideology, Politics, and Prejudice. Psychological Inquiry. 20/2-3, 2009. In a paper burdened by jargon which obscures its notable findings, University of Auckland psychologists describe two salient behavioral modes that align with masculine and feminine archetypes. But in such academic discourse, reality becomes what some man has previously written about it, while the very idea of an encompassing context is unthinkable and inadmissible.
During the past 2 decades evidence has increasingly suggested that there are two distinct dimensions of ideological attitudes, which seem best captured by the constructs of Right Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) and Social Dominance Orientation (SDO). These dimensions may sometimes be strongly related, but often are not, and seem to express quite different basic values or motivational goals. (98)
Einspieler, Christa, et al. Fetal Behaviour: A Neurodevelopmental Approach. London: Mac Keith Press, 2012. Einspieler, Medical University of Graz physiologist, Daniela Prayer, Vienna Medical School neuroradiologist, and Heinz Prechtl, renowned pioneer of fetal neurological studies, achieve a book-length treatment of how the latest instrumental abilities to observe aspects as embryonic movement, neural maturation, and fetus responsiveness are bringing grand discoveries. But for this section, of much interest is a chapter on Prenatal Laterality which confirms an asymmetric brain even in this perinatal stage.
In most right-handed adults several brain structures are larger in the left hemisphere than in the right hemisphere. During early development, however, there is a right hemispheric dominance. Certain areas of the right hemisphere mature more quickly than homologous areas in the left hemisphere. By 31 weeks gestation, it becomes recognizable that the transverse temporal gyrus is larger in the right hemisphere than it is in the left. Furthermore, auditory evoked responses reveal a side-different latency development, which suggests an earlier maturation of certain right than homologous left hemispheric brain areas. Also, in infants the regional cerebral blood flow is greater in the right hemisphere. This predominance only shifts to the left side after 3 years of age, which is due to the emergence of functions such as certain visuospatial and language abilities that are initially localized in the right hemisphere but later move to the left hemisphere. (69)
Elfner, Emily. The Syntax-Prosody Interface: Current Theoretical Approaches. Linguistic Vanguard. 4/1, 2018. In this new De Gruyter journal, a York University, Toronto linguist contributes to current realizations that our human conversational dialogue is actually composed of dual complements. Along with the spoken wordage, a second distinct phase of intonation, pitch and visual movement is equally important for full, accurate expression.
The syntax-prosody interface concerns the relationship between syntactic and prosodic constituent structure. This paper provides an overview of theoretical advances in research on the syntax-prosody interface. Current theoretical work is situated historically, and is framed in light of the central research questions in the field, including (a) to what extent prosodic structure can be used as a diagnostic for syntactic constituent structure, (b) the significance of recursion in prosodic theory, and (c) how mismatches between syntactic and prosodic constituent structure are modeled in different approaches to the syntax-prosody interface. (Abstract)
Elices, Irene, et al. Robust Dynamical Invariants in Sequential Neural Activity. Nature Scientific Reports. 9/9048, 2019. Autonomous University of Madrid neurocomputation researchers add another finesse of the cerebral presence of mutual conservative and creative complements across many network phases. Their active behavior then seeks and becomes poised at an optimum reciprocity.
By studying different sources of temporal variability in central pattern generator (CPG) circuits, we unveil fundamental aspects of the instantaneous balance between flexibility and robustness in sequential dynamics - a property that characterizes many systems that display neural rhythms. Our analysis of the triphasic rhythm of the pyloric CPG (Carcinus maenas) shows strong robustness of transient dynamics in keeping not only the activation sequences but also specific cycle-by-cycle temporal relationships in the form of strong linear correlations between pivotal time intervals, i.e. dynamical invariants. We suggest that invariant temporal sequence relationships could be present in other networks, including those shaping sequences of functional brain rhythms, and underlie rhythm programming and functionality. (Abstract excerpt)
Epstein, Seymour. Integration of the Cognitive and the Psychodynamic Unconscious. American Psychologist. August, 1994. This oft cited paper makes a strong case for complementary holistic and analytical thought processes.
There is no dearth of evidence in everyday life that people apprehend reality in two fundamentally different ways, one variously labeled intuitive, automatic, natural, nonverbal, narrative and experiential, and the other analytical, deliberative, verbal, and rational. (710)
Epstein, Seymour and Rosemary Pacini. Some Basic Issues Regarding Dual-Process Theories from the Perspective of Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory. Chaiken, Shelly and Yaacov Trope, eds. Dual-Process Theory in Social Psychology. New York: Guilford Press, 1999. Epstein, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, along with his colleagues, has formulated a well-tested expression of the dual modes of cogitation, noted as experiential-holistic or rational-analytic; metaphorical images or abstract symbols. Their sequential appearance occurs both in history from religion to science and in a Piagetan childhood from emotional to logical modes. An older narrative form resides in long-term schemas while rapid responses make up an immediate recall.
Erdmann, Erika and David Stover. Beyond a World Divided. Boston: Shambhala, 1991. Subtitled “Human Values in the Brain-Mind Science of Roger Sperry,” this work is an introduction to both the research achievements and philosophical concepts of the pioneer neuroscientist in the field.
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